Volunteer Ireland Award Nominees & Winners 2018

Mary Fitzgerald from Co. Clare was named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year 2018 at this year’s Volunteer Ireland Awards

Following a national call for entries, we received over 500 nominations to the 2018 Volunteer Ireland Awards. The shortlisting panel had a tough job but after many hours decided on the shortlist of 33 nominees below. On 7th December 2018, at gala awards ceremony in Dublin, eleven category winners were announced along with our Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year.

Each nominee, duo and group have a unique and inspiring story. One thing they all have in common is that they selflessly give their time to help others and help their community. See the full shortlist below and click the links to read their inspiring stories.

Mary Fitzgerald from Co. Clare was named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year 2018 for her support for those suffering domestic abuse in the area. Having been touched by the number of people fleeing domestic abuse in the Clare area, Mary Fitzgerald took some of the women and children into her own home and then set up Clare Haven Services to provide 24 hour refuge. Seeing the need, she also set up Haven Horizons to establish prevention programmes which address the lack of awareness and education around the underlying causes of domestic abuse.


Animals and Environment

  • Jane and Tamsyn Harris (Mother and Daughter Duo), ISPCA, Westmeath
  • Helen Nolan, ISPCA, Longford
  • Maeve O’Donoghue, Mullingar Dog Shelter, Westmeath *WINNER*

Read their stories…

Arts, Culture and Media

  • Kim Mackenzie-Doyle, Institute of Designers Ireland, Carlow
  • Lolo Robinson, Drogheda Comhaltas, Louth
  • Louise Borre, Galway International Arts Festival (and others), Galway *WINNER*

Read their stories…

Camapigning and Awareness Raising

  • Laura Brennan, HSE (and others), Clare *WINNER*
  • Marian Carroll, The Ronald McDonald House, Dublin
  • Nadya Doyle, An Taisce Climate Ambassador Programme, Wexford

Read their stories…

Children and Youth

  • David O’Hara, Solas Project, Dublin *WINNER*
  • Padraig Sheeran, Kilimanjaro Achievers, Dublin
  • Sharon Clarke, STEPS – Engineers Ireland and Seagate, Donegal

Read their stories…


  • Cormac Sertutxa, Irish Red Cross – Tralee Branch, Kerry *WINNER*
  • Mike Fisher, Wicklow Dementia Support, Wicklow
  • Willie Walsh, Carrigaline Family Support Centre, Cork

Read their stories…

Health and Disability

  • Joan Ryan, Parkrun, Kildare
  • John Conroy, Irish Wheelchair Association – Lucan, Dublin
  • Mary Arrigan-Langan, Octopus Swimming Club, Galway *WINNER*

Read their stories…

Safety and Emergency Services

  • Colm O’Byrne, Limerick Suicide Watch, Limerick
  • David Byrne, St John Ambulance, Kildare
  • Nancy White, Lorrha Community Responder Group, Tipperary *WINNER*

Read their stories…

Social Work and Social Inclusion

  • Jim Moore, Friends of the Elderly, Dublin
  • Mary Fitzgerald, Haven Horizons, Clare
  • Sheila Busher, Wickow Community Action Resource Centre, Wicklow *WINNER*

Read their stories…

Sport and Recreation

  • Chris Toomey, Tipperary Boxing Club, Tipperary
  • Constantino ‘Tino’ Fiuza Castineira, Suir Dragon Paddlers, Tipperary
  • Sinead Kelly, Raphoe Town Football Club, Donegal *WINNER*

Read their stories…

Outstanding Group

  • Children at Risk Ireland (CARI) Child Forensic Accompaniment Officers (40), Dublin and Galway
  • Pullough Community Action Group – Community Shop Volunteers (8), Offaly *WINNER*
  • Waterford Marine Search and Rescue (48), Waterford

Read their stories…

Volunteer Manager of the Year

  • Ann Birney, Inner City Helping Homeless, Dublin
  • Majella Fennelly, SVT Activity and Wellness Hub, Laois
  • Sara Murphy, Victim Support at Court (V-SAC), Dublin *WINNER*

Read their stories…


Previous Nominees & Winners

Volunteer of The Year 2017 – Sister Patrica Wall

View all 2017 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2016 – David McEvoy from Birr First Responders

View all 2016 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2015 – Matt Cullen from Swords Tidy Towns

View all 2015 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2014 – Jim Kavanagh from Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International

View all 2014 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2013 – Declan & Darryl Barry from Waterford Marine Search & Rescue

View all 2013 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2012 – Jacqueline McAuley from VSO Ireland

View all 2012 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2011 – Conor Malone and Conor Kavanagh

View all 2011 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2010 – Anna Hughes from Farranree Youth Club

View all 2010 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2009 – Christine Buckley from Aislinn Education and Support Centre

View all 2009 Awards

Volunteer of The Year 2008 – Marie Carroll from Bayside Gymnastics

View all 2008 Awards